Orphan Black’s Jordan Gavaris Is a Gem Hidden Between the Clones

Jordan Gavaris in Orphan Black
Maarten De Boer
Orphan Black

He Plays

Felix Dawkins, gay foster brother of clone Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) on Orphan Black. Felix is an artist and hustler with a smart mouth and an even smarter fashion sense. (Red thigh-length fur vest and oxblood lipstick, anyone?) In a universe where sharing the same DNA with someone doesn’t guarantee they won’t kill you, Felix has proved to be Sarah’s one true ally. “The series is so dark and lurid,” the Ontario native says. “And then this flashy, funny character with all the best lines shows up. Inevitably he was going to steal a couple of scenes.”

Where You’ve Seen Him

Like many Canadian actors, Gavaris had a role on Degrassi: The Next Generation. “It was the tiniest part,” he says. “But it was also my first time playing a gay character, one who was exploring his sexuality.” Gavaris has a bigger role on the bigger screen in Gus Van Sant’s upcoming drama Sea of Trees, in which he portrays a student of Matthew McConaughey’s suicidal community-college professor.

Why We Love Him

Felix could easily have fallen into the category of “stereotypical gay best friend,” but Gavaris plays him utterly sincerely. “I tend to be a bit of an earnest person,” the actor says. “I grew up in a small town and went to high school in a cornfield, so that might just be my natural state of being coming through!”

Multiple Personalities

Critics have (rightly) made a fuss over Maslany’s fascinating portrayals of several different characters in a single scene. But if Felix is in one of those scenes, then Gavaris must also film it multiple times, except exactly the same way. “It’s a wickedly frustrating process, but also the coolest challenge,” he says. “Only now, after wrapping Season 3, am I finally starting to relax and not feel afraid that if I move, my arm is going to go through someone who is there [in the scene] beside me. I’m pretty much ready to do any type of movie green-screen work after this.”

Orphan Black, season premiere Saturday, April 18, 9/8c, BBC America